Election Brief: Fetterman, Oz meet up for highly anticipated debate two weeks before the midterm elections

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TOP STORIES

DEBATE DAY: In Pennsylvania, Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz face off in a highly anticipated debate Tuesday evening in one of the most crucial Senate races in the November midterms. Fetterman, five months after suffering a near-fatal stroke, is managing expectations about his performance. Read more from Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser: Fetterman lowers expectations ahead of only debate with Oz in Pennsylvania Senate showdown

Pennsylvania Senate Democratic nominee John Fetterman and Pennsylvania Senate GOP nominee Dr.  Mehmet Oz.

Pennsylvania Senate Democratic nominee John Fetterman and Pennsylvania Senate GOP nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz.
(Mark Makela, Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

MORE DEBATE… Also facing off in debates Tuesday evening are Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett and his GOP challenger Joe O’Dea. In Michigan, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and GOP challenger Tudor Dixon face off for the second and final time in a one-hour debate. And in New York, incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul will debate conservative GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin in the state’s gubernatorial race.

GET THE LATEST ELECTION COVERAGE AND LIVE UPDATES FROM THE DEBATES Fr. Fox News’ midterms live blog.

‘WORN OUT, OLD DONKEY’: Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Monday to end the political career of his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist while the latter defended gender surgeries for minors during a fiery debate just two weeks ahead of the November general election. DeSantis called Crist a “worn out, old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture.” Read more from Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie: Florida debate: DeSantis vows to put Crist ‘out to pasture’ as Democrat defends gender surgeries for minors

Republican Florida Gov.  Ron DeSantis and former Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist participate in a live audience debate hosted by local CBS affiliate WEPC on October 24, 2022.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist participate in a live audience debate hosted by local CBS affiliate WEPC on October 24, 2022.
(WFLA)

MRS. SENATOR-ELECT? Gisele Barreto Fetterman, the wife of Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, has worked to make a name for herself in the Pennsylvania political arena over the last few weeks as she speaks on her husband’s behalf in certain situations and defends his candidacy in the race. During a visit to Pittsburgh last week, President Joe Biden insisted that Gisele, who is not seeking elected office, is “gonna be a great, great lady in the Senate.” Biden’s comment comes at an inopportune time as political rivals and media outlets continue to speculate about the Democratic candidate’s health and capacity to hold public office after a stroke took him off the campaign trail in May. But Gisele, who has been married to Fetterman for nearly 15 years, has emerged as one of his most ardent defenders. Read more from Fox News’ Kyle Morris: Is John Fetterman’s wife, Gisele, the ‘de facto candidate’ for Pennsylvania Senate?

Sen.  Richard Blumenthal shown with scans of the 1963 Riverdale Country School yearbook that revealed the was student council president at the time a

Sen. Richard Blumenthal shown with scans of the 1963 Riverdale Country School yearbook that revealed he was student council president at the time a “Slave Day” event was held.
(Classmates.com, Riverdale Country School 1963 yearbook)

BLUMENTHAL’S PAST BLUNDERS: Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., served as president of the student council at his high school when the group put on a “Slave Day” fundraising event, and he used a term now recognized as racist several times during one of his writings for the student newspaper at Harvard University. According to images and documentation listed in the 1963 yearbook for Riverdale Country School, a private school located in the Bronx, Blumenthal served as president of the school’s student council and attempted to unify the school through a series of fundraising events that called for student participation. Read more from Fox News’ Kyle Morris: Senate Dem part of high school group that held ‘Slave Day,’ used racial slur repeatedly in college writing

RISING STARS: Rep. Chris Pappas, DN.H., always knew he faced a challenging re-election this year. Challenging the 42-year-old Pappas is 25-year-old Karoline Leavitt, a veteran of former President Donald Trump’s press shop, who would become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress if she wins in November. With Democrats facing historical headwinds — the party that wins the White House traditionally suffers major setbacks in the ensuing midterm elections — and a rough political climate fueled by record inflation, soaring crime and a border crisis and accentuated by President Biden’s rebounding but still underwater approval ratings, Leavitt has been laser-focused on handcuffing Pappas to Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Read more from Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser: The 25-year-old first time GOP candidate who would help Republicans win back the House by making history

Arizona gubernatorial candidates Katie Hobbs, left, and Kari Lake, right, stump ahead of their showdown next month.

Arizona gubernatorial candidates Katie Hobbs, left, and Kari Lake, right, stump ahead of their showdown next month.
(Reuters)

SPOTLIGHT CANDIDATES: KATIE HOBBS Arizona’s gubernatorial race takes center stage in Fox News Digital’s series that asks candidates in top races to respond to the policy and political questions that are top of mind for voters across the country. In this edition of Candidate Spotlight, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs told Fox News Digital why she believes she’s the best candidate for Arizona and gives her thoughts on her Republican opponent Kari Lake. Read more from Fox News’ Sophia Slacik: CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT: Arizona Democrat candidate for governor Katie Hobbs talks abortion, inflation

CAMPAIGN TRAIL UPDATES

N-WORD ATTACK: A small group of protesters disrupted a press conference being held by the Republican Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Tuesday, with one allegedly referring to him as a “house n—–.” A number of witnesses at the event said they heard the racial slur, including a media photographer, a number of Walker campaign staff members and multiple bystanders. Read more from Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie and Aubrie Spady: Protester allegedly attacks Herschel Walker with racial slur, crashes press conference on Warnock evictions

SILVER STATE SHOWDOWN: Campaigning in Las Vegas, first-term Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada teamed up with rank-and-file members of the state’s powerful Culinary Union, which represents casino, hotel and restaurant workers in Sin City and Reno. Cortez Masto will need all the support she can get from the politically powerful Culinary Union as she faces a very challenging re-election against Republican nominee Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general — he succeeded Cortez Masto as the state’s top prosecutor — who’s the grandson of former senator and governor Paul Laxalt. Read more from Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser: Democrat-controlled Nevada could be seeing red in midterm elections

SWING AND MISS: Voters in Georgia are largely expressing their support for the Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker, but are breaking with him over the criticism he’s leveled against his opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, concerning the latter’s church evicting tenants from apartments it owns. Fox News Digital spoke to a number of voters around Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta this week, and asked their thoughts on the state of the heated Senate race, as well as the news that Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Warnock serves as senior pastor, was evicting a number of tenants for as little as $25.88 in past due rent while paying his pastor a hefty $7,417 monthly housing stipend. Read more from Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie and Aubrie Spady: WATCH: Voters in Georgia lean toward Walker but break with Republicans over Warnock church eviction criticism

‘GOP’ NO MORE?: Allan Fung, the Republican nominee who has a very good shot of flipping the 2nd Congressional District in deep blue Rhode Island, says today’s GOP is “definitely not the old Republican Party of the past.” The former longtime mayor of Cranston — Rhode Island’s second-largest city — who made history as the first mayor of Chinese ancestry in the state, could make the record books again as the first Chinese American member of Congress from the nation’s smallest state. Read more from Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser: The GOP has its most diverse slate of candidates ever, Democrats say it doesn’t matter

BIDEN ON BLAST: Voters across the political spectrum reacted strongly to Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly’s sharp criticism of President Biden and his fellow Democrats over what he called “dumb” decisions pertaining to the border crisis while debating his Republican opponentBlake Masters, earlier this month. Read more from Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie: WATCH: Voters react as Mark Kelly blasts Biden, fellow Democrats over ‘dumb’ border crisis decisions

POLLS & PREDICTIONS

ARE THE DEMS BLOWING IT? In September, some commentators were confident Democrats might be able to avoid a “red wave,” but with justice three weeks to midterm election day, momentum from the overturning of Roe v. Wade and President Biden’s string of summer legislative wins could be waning. Polling for the 2022 generic congressional vote — a closely watched indicator for midterm performance — shows Democrats’ average advantage over Republicans peaking in mid-September with a 1.3% lead, a decent advantage given that Biden’s approval rating consistently hovered in the low 40s. However, three weeks away from the midterms, Republicans have managed to gain back momentum that they have not seen in months, leading by 2.2% on average when voters are asked which party they would support, according to RealClearPolitics. Read more from Fox News’ Sophia Slacik: Polls show Republicans flip key metric in 2022 midterm elections, Democrats ‘blew their lead’

TWO WEEKS TO GO…

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